Kira (kira_k) wrote in fm_alchemist,

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Sins and Virtues - essay

"Ah, bánom, ennyi jót hogy ü vélek töttem,
Nem-é viperákat keblemben neveltem?
De immár ideje velek esmertetnem:
Én vagyok ama nagy bosszuálló Isten."

Zrínyi Miklós: Szigeti veszedelem*

Sins and Virtues in the FullMetal Alchemist

There are Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues.
The Seven Deadly Sins are the following: Pride, Envy, Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Gluttony, Lust.
The Seven Heavenly Virtues are the following: Wisdom, Justice, Courage, Temperance, Faith, Hope, Love. You'll notice they don't match Sin to Virtue. (The Seven Contrary Virtues: Humility, Kindness, Abstinence, Chastity, Patience, Liberality, Diligence.)

We can safely say we all know the Sins as characters. They play a prominent part in the FullMetal Alchemist. But what about the Virtues? Where hate is, there must be love as well. Light and dark can not be separated because then we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them.

Looking at the characters we got to know and love, I managed to find seven who could match the Virtues. Four men and three women.

Roy Mustang personalizes the Justice. We get to know, Mustang wants to be the Führer (aside from the miniskirt-law ;) ) to bring justice. To stop the stupid orders, to stop the murder of innocents. When Pride asks him if he fights because of Hughes, he says: "No. It's because you betrayed our trust." Because homonculus or not, Bradley swore to led the country well. And he didn't keep his word.
Mustang is a soldier. He doesn't have problems with killing or making hard decisions. However, he has morals, inner laws he doesn't want to break - like the alchemists' equivalent trade and the oath to his country.

Maes Hughes personalizes the Wisdom. He knows a lot but isn't blinded by his own brilliance. He stays a loving person, who uses his knowledge to help others. And that is wisdom itself.

Edward Elric personalizes the Courage. From the first minute of the anime we get to know his incredible courage. How he accepts whatever life throws at him and stands up again. He isn't afraid to make something dangerous. And even when he gives up something it's always matched by his courage. He'd give up his life for his brother, he is brave enough to say no to the Sins.

Alphonse Elric personalizes the Hope. He doesn't have anything else: he hopes he'll be a human again. Al never once gives up, he believes in the alchemy, in his brother and that everything will be better. He is the one who hopes Hohenheim will come back once, and he was the one who believed Trisha could be brought back.

Winry Rockbell personalizes the Love. She represents the family. She is the one who worries about the Elrics, who looks after them whenever she can. In the anime she can forgive Mustang after learning more about him.

Riza Hawkeye personalizes the Temperance. She never loses her control, she always knows how to behave. She is the one who remembers when it rains, she is the silent helper of Mustang.

Rose Thomas personalizes the Faith. She believes. First in Leto, in his boyfriend's resurrection, in Ed and Al, in Dante. She is determined and her faith helps her to move forward. When the Elrics crush her faith in the Sungod Leto she finds something else to believe in.

We should see, how the Sins come from behind the Gate while the Virtues are born within the people. The Sins came into life because the humans transgressed into God's territory. God is behind the Gate and He punishes the humans by the Sins.

However, God isn't evil. He gives back something terrible wrong, inhuman but He knows there are people out there who are strong and brave enough to save the world from the Sins. He gives us another chance to save ourselves even though He is the 'revenge seeking God' as my quote says.

*Articles about Zrínyi: 1 and 2. His works had never been translated to English so please bear with my humble try:

"Ah, bánom, ennyi jót hogy ü vélek töttem, "Oh, I regret I made this much good to them,
Nem-é viperákat keblemben neveltem? Didn't I warm vipers in My bosom?
De immár ideje velek esmertetnem: However, it's high time I show them:
Én vagyok ama nagy bosszúálló Isten." I'm the great, revenge seeking God."


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